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April 2002 Issue

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WLS E-Newsletter
A FREE publication by
Issue # 12
Circulation: 5615

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From the Desk of Barbara Thompson
Author of "Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You"

** In this Issue **

* Question of the Month: Exercise
* News From the Website
* Book Excerpt: "To All Significant Others"
* Recipe: Salsa Soup
* New Research Article: High Protein Diet
* Exercise Quiz
* On The Road: Harrisburg, PA and Charlottesville, VA
* Success Story: Monica Fugate
* Book News

Dear Subscriber,

The calendar played a nasty trick on us this year. We had Easter with all of that candy followed by one of the most stressful times of the year - tax filing season!!! Did everyone survive with a minimum of dumping? No matter how much I vow every year to gather my tax documents together and have my taxes filed earlier, it always seems that at the last minute I am frantically calling for statements that I didn't receive or trying to figure out in what envelope to stick a receipt. And I ship everything off to my Accountant and then bite my nails as I wonder how much extra tax I might have to pay. Stress? You bet! And with stress comes the urge to nibble my way through it.

Speaking of the IRS. The IRS ruled that weight loss programs ordered by a doctor for the treatment of obesity are tax deductible. Although this will not affect most of us, those that decide to self-pay for their surgery might receive a break. See this article for more information

More information about tax breaks Click Here

** Question of the Month **


Thanks to everyone who contributed their help by inspiring the rest of us to exercise. Next month's question will be on PLATEAUS. See details below.

This is from my very good friend Terry from a town in Pennsylvania with the name of 84.

Barbara, in your newsletter you asked for inspiration on exercising. I will try to explain what worked for me.

First, I went through this surgery which was may last hope for a normal life. It did give me my life back. 160 pounds lost is fabulous. But it wasn't easy. I have failed at all diets in the past. I was not going to fail this time. When I started reading about people who were one or more years post-op regaining 5, 10 or more pounds back, I got scared. I love being a size 14 and I didn't want to go back to my size 16 jeans.

So exercise was next, and believe me I never enjoyed it; as a child or as an adult. Gym class in school was, well I can't even explain it. I hated it. In the past I have joined many fitness programs along with every diet program or diet gimmick down the road. I stuck to nothing and lost or wasted tons of money. So what changed? Like I said it was fear of regaining weight and being a failure again. So what I did was go to every fitness center around me and check them out. I looked at who was there and what they had to offer. I didn't want to join a place with a bunch of body builder types. The one I chose has a diverse mix of people who are from 16 year olds to 80 years olds, fat to skinny, to body builder types to those who are not. It was more expensive but not that much more. I joined and started to exercise, my energy level rose and I became determined to keep going.

I started out slowly, and built my endurance very slowly. Then I got started with the weight machines. It has always been said that the more muscle, the higher your metabolism. Not knowing how to really build muscle I decided to hire a personal trainer for 6 sessions. After all $250 was not any more than I would have spent in the past on pills, exercise machines, or diet programs.

And so it started, I now love it. My personal trainer has taught me the proper form and programs to build muscle. Once you start seeing results, it keeps you motivated. I then signed up for 12 more sessions that I share with a woman I met there. It cuts cost and you get 6 weeks, 2 times a week, with a great trainer and someone to laugh with. I love it. Plus I have not regained any weight and believe me I can eat some days non-stop.

For more interesting ideas from other subscribers about exercise go to


Next month's question will be on plateaus (thank you for the suggestion from Rev. Marcel Lamb). What have you done to get off a plateau? How long did it last and what insights can you offer? Your input is very important. Thanks to everyone for contributing!

The overall subject of weight loss surgery covers a vast array of sub topics. There are many areas that people have questions about and I am interested in finding out what questions YOU would like to see addressed in future issues of this newsletter. Please email them to me at

** News About the Website **

Archived Newsletters:

If you are a new subscriber, you may be interested to know that you can read past issues of our newsletter. They are archived on our website at

Search the Site:

We have just added a searching capability to our website. So if you want information about a specific topic, type in a search keyword and you will get a report listing every page that contains your keyword. Every word in the site is indexed so if the word is there, you will find it. This keyword search feature can be found just under the left navigation bar on the home page.

** Excerpt From my Book**

To All Significant Others

My name is Frank Thompson and I am the husband of Barbara Thompson, the author of this book. I asked Barbara for some space in this book to talk to all the husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, boyfriends, girlfriends or any other "significant other." If a loved one of yours has asked you to read this chapter, congratulations on doing so. I have gone through, and survived, what you are probably experiencing now and I know that I can offer some words that will help you to deal with it.

About two years ago, our family doctor recommended that my wife see a nutritionist about her weight. The nutritionist suggested several plans for her to lose weight, most of which were the standard: more exercise, better eating habits, identifying why people eat emotionally, and taking prescribed weight loss medication. One of the suggestions, however, was for her to have weight loss surgery. I was shocked. How could this man come up with this? Does he really know what he is talking about?

My reactions then, were probably the same as your reactions now. I know what most every one of you was thinking when your loved one told you that he or she was considering weight loss surgery. I can hear your thoughts and your words now as I am writing this.

"You are perfectly healthy!"
"This is a major operation!"
"You could die!!"
"What about the family?"
"What about just one more diet?"
"You are not THAT overweight!"
"How can they say that you are morbidly obese?"
"Why do something that will change your life forever?"

I could go on and on. How do I know what went through your mind? I know because I had the very same thoughts and emotions. I think that anyone who finds out that their loved one is "volunteering" to undergo such a serious operation is naturally concerned about the consequences of such a drastic procedure. I use the word "volunteering" because at that time, I did not fully understand the "need" for the operation. I was worried about how this operation would change her life. I was worried about how she would feel when we would go out to dinner with friends or when she would attend a work related function that was centered around food. I was worried about the fact that some surgeon was going to literally change her insides. Cut some parts here. Reconnect some parts there. This surgeon was actually going to re-route my wife's intestines to places that God never thought about. I was horrified. I was scared. I was speechless. And with all my worry about how this would change my wife's life, I also wondered how this would change my own life and our family. How could I eat in front of her without making her feel bad about not being able to eat more? How could we go out for dinner and a movie? How would I go on if she had complications and died? It is amazing how many thoughts go through your head when you are panicking about the health of your loved one.

This was an excerpt from the book "Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You." This is a book that is a "must have" for any patient who is going to have the surgery and for those who are living their life after the surgery. Click here for order information

** Recipes **

This is a great recipe for those first days when you are on pureed food. After my surgery, I developed such a taste for spicy food. Be sure to use mild salsa when you are newly post-op. Try this carefully to be sure that you can tolerate the acidity. Later in your journey, enjoy this as a low fat snack garnished with chopped cucumber.

Salsa Soup

1 1/3 cup broth
2/3 cup salsa
2/3 cup plain yogurt

Blend in a blender. Serve cold.


If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at

** Exercise Quiz **

Test your knowledge of facts regarding exercise


1. After the age of 25, the average person loses how much muscle each year?
A. None
B. 2 ounces
C. 6 ounces
D. 8 ounces

For the answer and more questions, go to

** On The Road **

On March 18th, I had the pleasure of speaking to the patients of Dr. Luciano DiMarco in Harrisburg, PA. Dr. DiMarco's practice was Central Pennsylvania's first laparoscopic gastric bypass center. There were almost 80 people who attended.

On April 8th, I traveled to Charlottesville, VA to the University of Virginia. I met with Dr. Bruce Schirmer's patients in their beautiful facility at the University of Virginia Hospital. Charlottesville is a wonderful college town, with a beautiful campus and is the site of Montecello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.

I want to offer a special thank you to United States Surgical for sponsoring me at both presentations.

** Success Stories **

I want to give a very special thanks to Monica Fugate for sharing her story with us. I am sure we will be hearing more from Monica in the months to come:

I am pleased to tell you that I submitted my information to the Century Club today. I have now lost 136 pounds since July 17th when I had my gastric bypass surgery. I started out at 543 pounds and I feel better every day. It seems like I have so far to go some days but in 6 months I have been able to do so much and I actually look forward to my future now and waking up, when before I dreaded each day of struggles and pain both physically and emotionally.

I thank God every day for this miracle and for saving my life. I am able to walk across a room now without getting terribly out of breath and I am shopping again in the stores instead of sending my husband with our grocery list to do it for me because I couldn't make it through the store anymore. I cry every time I think of what my life had become and how different it is now and the changes in the future. I cry tears of joy instead of tears of pain and frustration.

To read the rest of Monica's story go to


I love good news. If you have good news, a success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at so that I can include it in future issues.

** Book News **

We are now shipping the SECOND EDITION of "Weight Loss Surgery: Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You." Several chapters have been expanded and some new features added.

One new feature is a new Appendix C that is an example of an insurance appeal letter that includes many valuable references to studies and reports that will be of interest to the insurance company in re-evaluating your surgery coverage.

Another new feature is an Informed Consent quiz that will test your knowledge of the risks and benefits of the surgery.

Copyright 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved